Bishop: Instead Of Toys, Give Books To Children For Christmas

MANILA, Philippines --- "Give your children books this Christmas," says Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines - Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP).

Baylon said parents should give their children books, instead of toys, to encourage the young to imbibe the habit of reading.

He also discouraged the giving of guns which promote violence.

"Pregnant dolls" being sold in the market today as gifts for young girls should also be avoided as these "send a wrong message about getting pregnant for young girls," he said.

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, but it must always be seen in the context of Christian marriage in order to be properly understood and appreciated," he said in an article posted in CBCP News.

Baylon recommended the book "Pedro Calungsod, Patron for the Filipino Youth" written by Fr. Salvador G. Agualada, Jr. "to help our young people to get to know the second Filipino saint, who was also very young when he offered his life for the faith."

For those who are older, the prelate suggested books that can help deepen one's faith such as the "Catechism for Filipino Catholics" or to be sure, the Holy Bible, which he considers as "still one of the best, if not the best gift we can ever give someone we love and who we wish to grow as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ."